AGENCY BRIEFS: Sterling Handles GE's Online Real Estate Venture

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General Electric Co.'s GE Capital e-business arm has named the brand consultancy Sterling Group to handle marketing and branding for a soon-to-launch unnamed online business targeting the commercial real estate market.


The New York consultancy is designated as GE Capital e-business's marketing and user experience partner on the new site, with additional responsibility for positioning, identity, site design and naming.


"We're really helping them launch and build a new online brand focused on the commercial real estate market," said Sheryl Goldstein, senior vice president at the Sterling Group.


The GE site's private launch is slated for October. A public debut is expected early next year. GE and Sterling refused to disclose more details about the new online venture.


Sterling clients include Salomon Smith Barney, Burger King Corp., MTV Networks, USA Networks' SciFi.com, Edu.com, Inside.com, jobdirect.com, Unilever, Kraft Foods, Miller Beer and Nickelodeon. Billings last year were $20 million.


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• GCI Group Inc., New York, has been named public relations agency of record for The New York Times Co.'s digital division. About 10 agencies pitched for the business, and four made it to the final round. As part of this assignment, GCI will handle public relations for NYTimes.com, Boston.com, NYToday.com, GolfDigest.com, WineToday.com and Abuzz. PR for these sites previously was done inhouse.


• Office.com has named Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, to handle its estimated $30 million advertising account. Office.com, New York, offers news, content and commerce for small businesses. The incumbent was Saatchi & Saatchi's Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York.

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